Getintothis’ David Hall looks forward to the summer as Africa Oye is set to provide a highlight to festival season in Liverpool.
From modest beginnings as a small-scale fringe event comprising a series of intimate city centre gigs in 1992, Africa Oyé has gone from strength to strength ever since and now stands as a dependable highlight of Liverpool’s cultural calendar.
After moving to its present Sefton Park home in 2002 to match with demand, Africa Oyé is now the UK’s biggest free festival of music and culture of African heritage.
Acts gracing Oyé‘s stages this summer epitomise an appropriately international flavour, including talented London kora player Sona Jobarteh, whose family traces their roots to Gambia. Mbongwana Star combines afrobeat with electro-punk and hail from Kinshasa – capital of the Democratic Republic of the Cong – appearing alongside Ghana’s Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band and also Randy Valentine, Damily and Ifa Band.
Having proved a success at last years event, Oyé Introduces returns to showcase some of the North West’s best up and coming talent. This years line up boasts enigmatic GIT Award nominee XamVolo, the highly talented vocals of Sherli Van Dyer, while Mamadou & The Super Libidor Band and RIMKA will be blending together unique sounds of Afro Jazz and funk to make sure everyone is on their feet.
Main-stage acts only form part of the experience, with an eclectic Oyé Village serving foods from across the globe, as well as traders, DJs, dance classes and workshops in the Active Zone, as well as entertainment for kids of all ages across the weekend.
In addition to this, this year organisers have revealed a full programme of free workshops taking place all over the weekend including Afro dance styles, dance battles and drumming workshops to get involved in.